While the Red Sox were scheduled to interview Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont for their managerial vacancy today, general manager Ben Cherington may have already pegged a favorite.
Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston writes that Cherington is “extremely high” on Brewers hitting coach and former Red Sox third base coach Dale Sveum. In fact, Edes goes as far to speculate that Cherington has already made up his mind on a recommendation to ownership, but is going through the process in order to make sure “his judgment is sound.”
It was a little surprising to hear Lamont was interviewing, given that he turns 65 in December and hasn’t managed in the majors since 2000, but he could be an ideal bench coach for a rookie manager. For what it’s worth, Sveum played for Lamont with the Pirates in 1997.
In addition to Sveum and Lamont, the Red Sox have interviewed Indians bench coach Sandy Alomar, Jr., Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin and Blue Jays first base coach and former PawSox manager Torey Lovullo. The speculation shouldn’t last much longer, as the Red Sox are expected to name a new manager by Thanksgiving.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.
The Blue Jays completed a four-game series sweep against the Athletics on Thursday afternoon and won their second consecutive game in walk-off fashion. Last night, the Jays went into the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 2-0, but a two-run home run by Justin Smoak followed by a solo home run from Kendrys Morales led to a 3-2 walk-off victory.
Thursday’s game was already interesting enough as starter Marcus Stroman, catcher Russell Martin, and manager John Gibbons were all ejected by home plate umpire Will Little. Despite the adversity, the Jays battled the A’s, tying the game at four apiece when Morales blasted a solo home run — his second of the game — in the bottom of the ninth inning. In the 10th inning, A’s reliever Liam Hendriks walked the bases loaded with two outs to bring up Steve Pearce. Pearce worked the count full before pulling a fastball down the left field line for a walk-off grand slam, giving the Jays an 8-4 victory to complete the sweep.
Before Pearce, the last Jays hitter to hit a walk-off grand slam was Gregg Zaun on September 6, 2008 against the Rays, per SportsNet Stats.